There’s an espresso machine in my hotel room. There’s two plasmas and outside the sliding doors there’s a hammock, a barbecue and a beach.

Bula you might say.

Oh- but I’m deadly serious.

No matter how nice your home is, sometimes all you want to do is get away.

Despite the fact that only seven weeks ago we touched down home from a four week honeymoon, I’ve had a holiday epiphany.

It goes something like this: travel isn’t always a holiday. And sometimes when you’re starting to scrape the bottom of the bucket, you might just need some time by a pool, a view, some sun and a stack of books to help you locate your mental meniscus again.

The brief was simple.

The temperature had to be warm- above 25 degrees in the shade would be perfect. If there was a swimming pool and a beach, which we could play off against each other like squabbling Boelyn girls, then that would be great.

It had to be relatively cheap and within four and a half hours travel time-because as much as pictures of the Maldives are my escapist Internet porn, with only six days scraped together it’s hard to justify 40 hours being spent squashed in economy class and airports.

Then there are the below the line details. Despite the Hungry One’s capacity for consumption, we’re not interested in ‘all you can eat and drink’ packages. We’ve made that mistake before. There are those among us who are drawn to such deals like flatulent moths to feeble flames, and I don’t need to be competing on a daily basis with those who are preoccupied with how to get to the oysters on the buffet.

Then it’s just about the juggling the best options for the dates and the dosh.

So, plus or minus the couple of nights weighing up options and flirting with expedia, we quickly found ourselves in a one bedroom beachfront villa at the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, managed by Hilton.

Hilton may seem like an after thought in the branding, but someone has put some classy little mits all over this place.

Out of all the resorts lining the slightly dirty sands of Fiji’s man-made island of Denaru the Hilton is the newest and bits of it are still being built. But the important bits stand proud.

There are the villas with all of them looking over either the pool or the beach.

There are four pools hugging the restaurant on the beach that hosts the the breakfast buffet and all day dining.

There’s a patisserie that delivers pizza to your room, stocks fresh baguettes, curry puffs, french cakes, and New Zealand natural ice cream all day.

Once inside the king beds are smothered in sheets with a thread count that manages to both crackle and cuddle. The toiletries are Molten and Brown. Beside the bath built for two there’s a pair of champagne glasses suggestively huddled in the corner.

Off to one corner of the resort there’s a day spa where a one hour deep tissue massage is more than enough to make you forget the initial trauma of having to put on disposable pants.

By the beach there are hammocks sporadically dotted between coconut trees.

There are a pride of padded sun lounges under large canvas umbrellas facing both the beach and the infinity pools.

Carefully choreographed for you each day is a sunset between 4.45pm and 5.15pm which swirls pink, orange and purple better than a nine year old who’s just got her first set of derwent water colour pencils.

As the days go on you discover better and better things.

There are no bindies in the grass.

In the air conditioned gym, the televisions have the E channel.

If you ask nicely at breakfast you learn you can get a mango smoothie or a latte made for you, all part of the package. It goes down a dab hand with the homemade coconut bread.

After a couple of days start to look forward to the small details which mark out the passage of Fiji-time.

At the close of sunset there’s a ceremony where the flame lanterns are lit all along the beach, one by one.

I liked to celebrate that little moment with a Frangelico and lime on the rocks, while drifting about in a hammock or on my deck.

When it comes to food, booking a villa with a stand alone kitchen is a blessing. There’s a dishwasher, a fridge, toasted sandwich maker and a microwave. I may not have been a Girl Scout, but we came prepared with a fridge bag full of frozen edamame, crackers, chocolate, biscuits and microwave popcorn to stave off the mid afternoon munchies.

At night we found the best bet in the Indian available for delivery or eating in the restaurant. The prawn curry is light and the mango chutney sweet without being sickly. Then there’s the local special of kokoda; fresh fish and diced onion and capsicum in a coconut milk cerviche is the right foil for a steamy night.

The burgers were classic but pricey, the pizza a little squishy for our taste. The barbecue packs may seem expensive, at $70 each, but you only really needed one between two. For that we got two hunking tuna steaks, two prawn skewers, lobster tail split in two, a salad, two bars of garlic bread and a french dessert each.

Then there’s the free gift with purchase; no noise from the kids at the table next to you. No resort performances to weakly smile through. No phones ringing.
You might have to cook it on the barbecue yourself, but you don’t have to do the washing up.

And much better than home, instead of dissolving into whatever’s on tv at seven o’clock these days, there’s the very tail end of a Pacific sunset to watch.

After six days of that, it’s what I would start to call a proper, perfect holiday.

Everything you could want; a little bit of home and a lot of away.


Fiji Beach Resort and Spa

Managed by Hilton